02 October, 2023
24 April, 2024
Game Report
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Istanbul insanity: NINERS survive fightback to be crowned champions in OT classic

ISTANBUL (Turkiye) - NINERS Chemnitz saw their first leg advantage erased, but had the right composure to triumph in the FIBA Europe Cup Finals, with Bahcesehir College coming up short in a 105-95 win.

It was quite an athletic and physical battle at the Ulker Sports and Event Hall as the visitors looked to hold down a 85-74 lead from the first leg in Chemnitz.

There were several points in the second half and overtime session where NINERS seemed to be close to clinching it all, however, the 11,728 spectators backed Bahcesehir until the very end, with the German side barely holding on to a 180-179 win in aggregate.

Turning Point:
NINERS bounced back from a disastrous first half with a quick 8-0 run to start off the third and regain the lead in aggregate - having trailed by as many as 19 points - which already foretold that we are in for an instant classic. They didn't just stop there and won the quarter 29-12, flummoxing Bahcesehir with a creative zone defense that lead to good offense.

Nevertheless, the Germans saw their 11-point cushion once again disappear, with Jerry Boutsiele making crucial plays down the stretch of regulation with a 9-0 close forcing an extra period.

NINERS went down by as many as five points in aggregate during overtime, yet Kaza Kajami-Keane and Dominic Lockhart scored crucial buckets to end the roller-coaster ride with jubilant scenes at the buzzer. 

Game Heroes: Kaza Kajami-Keane stood out among the group that led the charge both in the very successful third quarter and overtime as the Finals MVP. Several players chipped in with a field goal or a handy play, but it was the Canadian who collected 29 points, 4 assists and 3 steals, making 11 of 12 free throws in a big-time performance.

Stats Don't Lie: The Turkish side might have had their benefits from getting to the free throw line, then again it was impossible for them to keep their opponents from their own basket where Chemnitz generated 44 very important points in the paint.

Bottom Line:
NINERS collect their first international trophy in their second-ever FIBA Europe Cup appearance having weathered a huge storm. Hats off to Bahcesehir College for making it an eventful evening, but they will feel the disappointment after coming up short in their quest for a second title.